When going house hunting, there are a lot of things to consider: the neighborhood, the size, the kitchen, not to mention the rest of the house! But when you move into a home, the last thing you want to learn is that you’re sharing it with uninvited guests. Buying a home in Eastern North Carolina is exciting – our area has a lot to offer – but be sure you check for pest damage and infestations while visiting a home you’re considering.

We help new homeowners all the time with our pre-construction termite treatments and wood destroying insect reports because we want to do everything we can to help people make informed decisions. To help you while you are house hunting, we put together a list of tips on how to spot pest damage and infestations. We want you to be informed before you make one of the biggest decisions of your life!

Signs a Home Has a Pest Infestation:


Rodents and roaches are elusive, so you’ll have to check every nook and cranny for signs of feces or urine. Check under furniture, under sinks, in the back of cupboards, and behind boxes. A pest will hide anywhere it can, and it won’t be shy about leaving droppings.


This is particularly important for termites, which can be a big problem in Eastern North Carolina if preventative measures aren’t taken. Swarming termites drop their wings before they mate, so if you find piles of small wings you probably have a termite infestation on your hands.

Gnawed food packaging

Rodents and other pests will try and get into food. Open cabinets and cupboards to see if you can find any torn packaging.

Sawdust piles

This would be a sign of either carpenter ants or termites, both of which would be a huge problem. Look at the wood in the home and see if you find any sawdust piles, particularly under window sills and molding.

Nesting materials

Pests will make nests behind the walls, but also in attics or the basement. Check here for collections of torn paper, fabric, or insulation. This could be evidence of an infestation.

Grease marks

Rats and mice travel along the same paths every day, and their fur is greasy. When they rub against walls or the bottom of cupboards their grease will sometimes be evident.

Dead bugs

Check the window sills and basement for dead bugs. If you find a lot of the same bug, there’s likely a problem.

Scent of ammonia

If you smell ammonia under sinks, in the pantry, or in the cabinets, then you probably have a rodent problem.

Musty smell

Roaches smell, and so do their droppings. If there’s a musty smell in the kitchen or bathroom, there is a good chance that roaches are lingering.

Rotten smell

Sniff near the walls. If something smells rotten, there could be a dead carcass back there.

These tips should help you know if the home you’re considering has pest damage or a current infestation. If you fall in love with a home only to learn that pests are living inside, we can help! You can try and exterminate the problem yourself, but the only way to be totally satisfied that an infestation is taken care of is with professional pest control solutions. And besides, with the upcoming move, you already have enough on your plate! Once you move in you’re going to want to explore some of the local attractions like the Croatan National Forest or the Cape Lookout National Seashore, not chase pests in your new home. Good luck with house hunting and be sure to keep these tips in mind!